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The Death of Fundraising Dreams

You mean well. Your organization helps those in need. For some, dire need. And you’re trying to come up with the funds needed to shorten the gap that exists between failure and success of a project. And you’re oh so close.


That’s when something bad happens…goals are raised, your time frame is moved up and unrealistic expectations become the order of the day. All  of this results in donors feeling like they’re being pressured. After all, it’s for a worthy cause, right? Wrong!


The results of the pressure being applied to you and your team become the death of dreams referenced in the title. But whose dreams? Quite possibly yours, but most assuredly, the dreams of your donors.  And it happens a lot.


When unrealistic expectations and donors feeling pressured collide in the name of helping something “good” to happen, it’s time to pull back and re-assess.


Re-assessing fundraising capacity is a good place to start. Setting goals simply on the basis of “need” is misguided at best and reckless at worst.


Philanthropy, when all is said and done, isn’t driven by what is needed, but by dreams. Your organization isn’t in the driver’s seat either. Donors are.


There is so much potential out there that never gets tapped because organizations and their leaders let the expectations of others get in the way.


Sadly, expectations lead to the death of dreams. To expect is to assume; never assume.


Instead, invite and partner. When left to their own devices, donors want be a part of your success. Fight for them to be given that chance.

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